Black Water by T. Jefferson Parker
Black WaterDetective Merci Rayborn has caused a split within the Orange County Sherriff’s department. Now she is living with the consequences of uncovering old sins and having high ranked officials removed from authority within the department. She even had discovered her father had been involved with the scandal, but still had brought out the truth. Now many of the officers in the department blame her. Others defend her.
Archie Wildcraft is an officer that Merci barely knows, but he is one of her supporters. Unfortunately, he is now in the hospital fighting for his life after receiving a bullet in his head. His wife is found dead in their bathroom. Did Archie snap and commit murder, then attempt suicide? Or did someone break in and make it appear that way?
Merci and her partner Paul Zamora are given the case to find out what happened at the Wildcraft home. This young couple had a wonderful life. They loved each other and their professions. They had recently invested wisely and made a large sum of money in a new company when it went public. They had a beautiful new home in an upscale neighborhood. Their future looked bright. Until…
Now Merci and Paul are investigating. She is certain that Archie is not responsible for his wife’s death. Yet all the circumstantial evidence leads to him. Merci has learned to ignore the jibes from fellow officers who no longer approve of her. She has given up her own dream of being the Sheriff herself someday. Instead, she continues to seek justice for people like Archie Wildcraft and his wife.
Black Water is the third book in the Merci Rayborn detective mystery series. Parker immediately pulls the reader into the story in the first chapter. We know that Wildcraft didn’t kill his wife. He hears an unusual noise in the middle of the night and goes to investigate. He’s a cop; he can protect his own home; he knows this with all his confidence. But he doesn’t know what is really happening. Parker lets us in on the emotions as Wildcraft checks out his home before his world goes black. We can understand Wildcraft when he slowly regains his memory after head trauma.
Jefferson also digs deeper into Merci Rayborn’s character. She isn’t sorry she uncovered the years old scandal. She is sorry that many of the officers and employees in the Sherriff’s department resent her actions. She is sorry to see her dreams disappear in the aftermath. But she can’t let it show. Now, in Black Water, all she can do is continue her job, ignore the hate, and appreciate the support from those that know she did what had to be done. She can only keep working on the Wildcraft case, trying to obtain justice for a man she believes is innocent.